Those of us who live near major cities spend a great deal of time stuck in traffic, when we’re unfortunately enough to be forced to drive at rush-hour, or encounter some special circumstance like an accident. I’m sure many of us, in addition to the frustration we feel, wonder about the nature and cause of heavy traffic and how it may be avoided. Here’s a good article that looks at that very phenomenon.
Of course, the ultimate answer is the rethinking of transportation generally, effecting a total paradigm shift for the 21st Century. Obviously the car and oil companies want us to stay stuck in the paradigm of the 20th Century, in which everyone owns a big, heavy car that’s parked 23 hours a day, and has only one occupant 75% of time it’s actually on the road.
Fortunately, we’re in the process of realizing that we are not necessarily locked into that limited and extremely wasteful perspective. In particular, we’re moving to a “network” approach to transportation, consisting of a dynamic mixture of mass transit, car sharing, ride sharing, small urban vehicles for package delivering and commuting, as well as redesigning our cities to encourage more walking and bicycling.